Tag Archives: bone density

5 Ways to boost bone strength early – Harvard

For the most part, osteoporosis is thought of as a women’s affliction because more women get it than men. However, it is an affliction of older age and more women get it because they live longer. A senior man is very likely  to contract osteoporosis also. Herewith, Harvard Medical School on the subject.

black and white bones hand x ray

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The best prevention for bone-thinning osteoporosis begins early — during the first two decades of life, when you can most influence your peak bone mass by getting enough calcium and vitamin D and doing bone-strengthening exercise. If you are over age 20, there’s no need to be discouraged. It’s never too late to adopt bone-preserving habits.

If you are a man younger than 65 or a premenopausal woman, these five strategies can help you shore up bone strength as a hedge against developing osteoporosis.

  1. Monitor your diet. Get enough calcium and vitamin D, ideally through the foods you eat. Although dairy products may be the richest sources of calcium, a growing number of foods, such as orange juice, are calcium-fortified. Fruits, vegetables, and grains provide other minerals crucial to bone health, such as magnesium and phosphorus.
  2. Maintain a reasonable weight. This is particularly important for women. Menstrual periods often stop in women who are underweight — due to a poor diet or excessive exercise — and that usually means that estrogen levels are too low to support bone growth.
  3. Don’t smoke and limit alcohol intake. Smoking and too much alcohol both decrease bone mass.
  4. Make sure your workouts include weight-bearing exercises. Regular weight-bearing exercise like walking, dancing, or step aerobics can protect your bones. Also include strength training as part of your exercise routine.
  5. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors. Certain medical conditions (like celiac disease) and some medications (steroids and others) can increase the chances that you will develop osteoporosis. It’s important to talk with your doctor to develop a prevention strategy that accounts for these factors.

For more on diagnosing and treating osteoporosis and developing an effective plan for your bones order, Osteoporosis: A guide to prevention and treatment.

 

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5 Ways to Boost Bone Strength Early – Harvard

Although osteoporosis is widely thought of as a ‘woman’s affliction,’ it is by no means exclusive to the fair sex. While on balance women suffer from osteoporosis three times more often than men, once a man reaches middle age, his odds of catching it increase. I have written about osteoporosis a number of times from various angles. If you are interested, you can click on any of the links at the end of this post to read further.

osteoporosis

Harvard HEALTHbeat offers some worthwhile insights on it in the most recent issue.

“The best prevention for bone-thinning osteoporosis begins early — during the first two decades of life, when you can most influence your peak bone mass by getting enough calcium and vitamin D and doing bone-strengthening exercise. If you are over age 20, there’s no need to be discouraged. It’s never too late to adopt bone-preserving habits.

“If you are a man younger than 65 or a pre-menopausal woman, these five strategies can help you shore up bone strength as a hedge against developing osteoporosis.”

1. Monitor your diet. Get enough calcium and vitamin D, ideally through the foods you eat. Although dairy products may be the richest sources of calcium, a growing number of foods, such as orange juice, are calcium-fortified. Fruits, vegetables, and grains provide other minerals crucial to bone health, such as magnesium and phosphorus.
2. Maintain a reasonable weight. This is particularly important for women. Menstrual periods often stop in women who are underweight — due to a poor diet or excessive exercise — and that usually means that estrogen levels are too low to support bone growth.
3. Don’t smoke, and limit alcohol intake. Smoking and too much alcohol both decrease bone mass.
4.Make sure your workouts include weight-bearing exercises. Regular weight-bearing exercise like walking, dancing, or step aerobics can protect your bones. Also include strength training as part of your exercise routine.
5.Talk with your doctor about your risk factors. Certain medical conditions (like celiac disease) and some medications (steroids and others) can increase the chances that you will develop osteoporosis. It’s important to talk with your doctor to develop a prevention strategy that accounts for these factors.”

They offer a link to their booklet on diagnosing and treating osteoporosis and developing an effective plan for your bones: Osteoporosis: A guide to prevention and treatment.

Here are the links for my previous posts on osteoporosis:
Practice Training for Bones as Well as Muscles

The Benefits of Calcium

Is Walking as Effective an Exercise as Running?

Are Men Vulnerable to Osteoporosis as well as Women?

Cycling Pros Have Increased Risk to Osteoporosis

An Early Sign of Osteoporosis?

What is a New Weapon Against Osteoporosis?

What are Some Foods to Protect Against Osteoporosis?

What Can I Do To Prevent Osteoporosis?

Tony

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What are some foods to protect against osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a debilitating disease that affects the entire world population. The International Osteoporosis Foundation reports:

•    Worldwide, osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually, resulting in an osteoporotic fracture every 3 seconds.
•    Osteoporosis is estimated to affect 200 million women worldwide – approximately one-tenth of women aged 60, one-fifth of women aged 70, two-fifths of women aged 80 and two-thirds of women aged 90.
•    Osteoporosis affects an estimated 75 million people in Europe, USA and Japan

Sardines are an excellent source of calcium to help fight osteoporosis

Sardines are an excellent source of calcium to help fight osteoporosis

Some men think osteoporosis affects only women, but they are wrong. “Men don’t suffer from osteoporosis as often as women, but they are indeed vulnerable. The International Osteoporosis Foundation says that the lifetime risk of experiencing an osteoporotic fracture in men over the age of 50 is 30%, similar to the lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer.” That quote is from my post Are men vulnerable to osteoporosis as well as women?

WebMD has a very useful slideshow on the subject of dietary weapons to protect  your bones.

“An excellent source of calcium is sardines. All those little fish bones have just what you need to build strong bone mass in your own body. Eating three ounces of canned sardines delivers a little more calcium than a cup of milk,” according to the slideshow.

Click on the slideshow link to read all 13 slides.

I was happy to see that they finished with a slide on weight-bearing exercise even though it isn’t dietary. The maxim use it or lose it applies to bones, too. Weight-bearing exercise is crucial to strong bones. Anything that uses the weight of the body or outside weights to work the bones and muscles counts. This causes your body to create new bone material and they produce more bone density. Dancing, walking and stair climbing all come to mind as good weight bearing exercises.

I often conclude with eat less; move more, but this time I think eat smart; move more fits better.

Check out these posts to read further on osteoporosis: What is a new weapon against osteoporosis? What is an early sign of osteoporosis?, How to beat osteoporosis – Harvard, Cycling pros have increased risk of osteoporosis.

Tony

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How to Beat Osteoporosis – Harvard

Because three out of four cases of osteoporosis are women, it is considered a women’s disease by most people. However, as I reported here after the age of 50 men are as likely to get osteoporosis as prostate cancer. More to the point, older people of both sexes have great vulnerability to it.

Harvard Healthbeat says, “The best insurance against osteoporosis is building the highest bone density possible by your 30s and minimizing bone loss after that. But if you’re already in midlife or beyond, there is still much you can do to preserve the bone you have and perhaps even to replace lost bone. Daily weight-bearing exercise, like walking, is the best medicine. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D are two other critical strategies for keeping bones strong.”

Steve Colgan Artwork

Steve Colgan Artwork

In addition to calcium and vitamin D, I wrote about the value of weight bearing exercise in November.

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What is the Best Anti-Aging Medicine?

According to government figures, childhood immunization saves $10.00 for every $1.00 of government funding. This is a worthy goal but pales in comparison to potential savings through anti-aging medicine – exercise.

Exercise is the closest thing to an anti-aging pill that exists. People who are physically fit, eat a healthy, balanced diet, and take nutritional supplements can measure out to be 10-20 years biologically younger than their chronological age.

The lifetime costs of two children severely crippled by polio far exceed all the government monies spent on anti-aging research per year.

If anti-aging medicine could delay admission to nursing homes by one month, the U.S. health care system would save $3 billion per year.

In the United States, as many as 250,000 deaths per year are attributable in part to a lack of regular physical activity.

Calories: at age 70 a person needs 500 fewer calories per day to maintain body weight.

Body fat: the average 65-year old sedentary woman’s body is 43% fat compared to 25% at age 25. Convert fat into muscle by exercising.

Blood pressure: most Americans see an increase in blood pressure with age. Exercise can control this.

Temperature: the body’s ability to regulate temperature declines with age. Control factors are regular exercise and healthy diet.

Bone density: bones lose mineral content and become weaker with age. Control factors are proper calcium and stress exercise.



Aerobic capacity: the body’s efficient use of oxygen declines by 30-40 percent by age 65. Regular aerobic exercise can prevent this decline.

The National Institute on Aging reported that if the onset of Alzheimer’s disease could be delayed by 5 years, the nation would save $40 billion per year.

Tony

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